Flooding fears rise in Manitoba's Interlake region
Flooding isn't just a problem in southwestern Manitoba this week — communities in the province's Interlake region are also bracing for floods caused by high lake levels and strong winds.
Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba are currently under flood watches, and windy conditions in recent days have raised concerns among those who live near the shores.
At least five homes in Winnipeg Beach, Man., are being threatened by waves up to 1.5 metres tall from Lake Winnipeg.
Some of the homes close to the shoreline already have clay dikes, but the mayor said he's worried there could be a breach.
"They haven't caused any breaks yet. But if the wind keeps up for the next couple of hours, we could have the potential of a breach in a couple of spots on the dike," he said.
Sandbagging will be done around another home on the south side of town at Stevenson Point, he added.
The waves are also pounding the shore in front of Corinne Larsen's house on Willow Island, located one kilometre south of Gimli, Man.
"Just great big white caps, and they just roll in one after another, rolling in," she said.
"When it hits the sea wall, the spray comes right into my front yard. Like, I was out there at one point and I just ended up dripping wet."
Larsen said she has water in her garage and some damage to the front of her property, and the water is within inches from the top of the road.
She added that her neighbour's yard, which does not have a sea wall, is being eroded by waves.
Late on Tuesday, provincial flood forecasters said the wind forecast for Wednesday has prompted a "moderate wind warning" for the south shore of Lake Winnipeg and a "low wind warning" for the south shore of Lake Manitoba.
That means winds in those areas could raise water levels by about half a metre and cause "low to moderate wave action" on the southern shores.
Preparing for the worst
On the shores of Lake Manitoba, people in the Rural Municipality of St. Laurent spent Tuesday cleaning up water damage in their homes and preparing for the worst.
"There were a number of properties that were inundated with micro-flooding," said St. Laurent Reeve Earl Zotter.
Many area homeowners remember the major floods in 2011, which forced people out of flooded homes.
Resident Richard Naujokes said he spent thousands of dollars repairing his beachfront home from the 2011 flood, but then he noticed water seeping into his basement on Monday.
"I came back out about 11 o'clock — like, around midnight — and it was a good couple inches in the basement," he said.
Harry Frederick, who has lived in St. Laurent for about 14 years, said he's been putting sandbags around his home.
"My wife and I started early this morning. We got 100 sandbags done," he said.
"A neighbour came over with his son and son-in-law; they're visiting from the States. Not a great way to start their vacation, but appreciate the help."